Extreme Makeover: Five Essential Paradigms for Sustainable Transformation

Extreme Makeover

(This is the seventh in a seven-part series outlining the core values of ISSM as represented by the acronym: P.R.E.C.E.P.T.  ‘T’ stands for “Transformation”)

Sandy and I love to watch home makeover shows on HGTV. Sandy’s a little more committed than I, but I share much of her enthusiasm!

A dilapidated and/or dysfunctional house is chosen for a radical makeover. Just how radical, the homeowner can scarcely imagine. During the process, problems arise, but they’re invariably overcome and the project carries on.

Finally, the house is finished and next comes “the reveal.” The owners take a tearful tour of their “new” home as the producers treat the TV audience to before/after shots that sharply contrast the unsatisfactory old house with the bold and beautiful new one.

We know how the show will end, yet it gets to us every time. Why?

I believe it’s because we’re hardwired for transformation. That is, we long to be transformed ourselves, and then—to bring transformation to others. Transformed people transform people.

Consider this from Ed Silvoso in his book, Transformation:

From God’s point of view, the ultimate destiny of Christians is not to become the foremost experts in foxhole design and maintenance, countermarches, defensive maneuvers or siege management. The army led by Jesus is designed and commissioned to advance decisively, to bring down the gates of Hades and to overcome the evil that is entrenched in the world until God’s glory has been poured on peoples and nations.

Yes, Jesus has called us to expand our vision beyond discipling individuals to discipling nations. (See Matt. 28:18-20)

The task is so enormous that it will require a significant mindset change. Following are five paradigms from his book Transformation that Ed Silvoso suggests are “essential for sustainable transformation”:

  1. The Great Commission is about discipling nations, not just people.
  2. The marketplace (the heart of the nation) has already been redeemed by Jesus and now needs to be reclaimed by His followers.
  3. Labor is the premier expression of worship on Earth, and every believer is a minister.
  4. Our primary call is not to build the Church but to take the kingdom of God where the kingdom of darkness is still entrenched in order for Jesus to build His Church.
  5. The premier social indicator that transformation has taken place is the elimination of systemic poverty.

Intriguing, is it not?!!

In light of Ed’s five paradigms, here are some questions for us to ponder:

  • Do you believe, like Jesus, that it’s possible to disciple nations? If not, will you allow faith to fill your heart in this regard?
  • Do you see your work as worship? If not, how would seeing your workplace as a worship place affect your work environment?

Lord, we ask you to give us vision to see what You see so that transformation becomes a reality in our spheres of influence—in Jesus’ name!

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